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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Gender as a Category of Knowledge

Dr. Jana Husmann

PhD Project:

Symbolism of Black and White: Traditions of Dualistic Thinking and the Imagination of ›Race‹; Religion – Science – Anthroposophy


Description of the Project


What does the occidental symbolic traditions of the colors black and white have to do with racism and racial theory ? This cultural-historical project pursues dualistic traditions of thought in the scientific and occult discourses on ›race‹ in modern Europe. By analyzing processes of secularization, naturalization, and (re-)spiritualization of the symbolic, the project exposes the imaginary nature of the categories racism build on and around. Bringing together perspectives from history of culture, religion, science, and gender, this dissertation demonstrates the complex interrelations between knowledge and gender orders, symbolic traditions of dualistic thinking, and the history of racism. With a focus on the interrelations between symbolism of color and symbolism of gender and their impact in the context of racism, the project also contributes to analyses of gender-specific constructions of »race.« »Gender as a category of knowledge« thus becomes relevant on a symbolic as well as socio-structural level of analysis.




Jana Husmann studied cultural history and theory as well as gender studies in Bremen, Berlin and London. PhD in cultural history and theory (2010). 2005-2008 PhD student, 2009-2011 postdoctoral research fellow at the PhD Research Training Group. In Fall 2010 visiting scholar at the Center for the Humanities, City University of New York (CUNY). 2013 postdoctoral research fellow at the Chair of Public Law and Gender Studies, Prof. Dr. Susanne Baer, LL.M., Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.


Selected Publications

zus. m. Ulrike Auga, Christina von Braun u. Claudia Bruns (Hg.): Fundamentalism and Gender. Scripture – Body – Community, Eugene/Oregon 2013 (im Erscheinen).

Schwarz-Weiß-Symbolik. Dualistische Denktraditionen und die Imagination von »Rasse«. Religion – Wissenschaft – Anthroposophie, Bielefeld 2010.

zus. m. Sven Glawion u. Elahe Haschemi Yekani (Hg.): Erlöser. Figurationen männlicher Hegemonie, Bielefeld 2007.

zus. m. Martina Tißberger, Gabriele Dietze u. Daniela Hrzán (Hg.): Weiß – Weißsein – Whiteness. Kritische Studien zu Gender und Rassismus/Critical Studies on Gender and Racism, Frankfurt a. M. 2006 u. 2009.